What can you get done in under two hours? I’m struggling to even clean the house never mind run a marathon.

Eliud Kipchogi is top of the world today after becoming the first man to run the marathon in under two hours.

I do hope that the Kenyan has a big plate of apple strudel in front of him and a creamy hot chocolate… he deserves it.

It is clearly a victory for Eliud and his compatriots but it is also a victory for athletics after the Project Oregon and Alberto Salazar scandal.

That’s all music to my ears as athletics was my sport of choice and endeavour as a kid.

Great days with Ovett and Coe’s rivalry and when I Scottish Schools cross-country champion and Scottish Road Relay gold medalist.

The Scottish rebel Ovett.

The home of Marathon

I never got up to Marathon level… I’m sure Eliud is quaking in his trainers.

But I have visited the home of the Marathon,.

Or at least the finish point of those first Modern Olympics in 1896 when I visited Athens.

I thought about taking a detour from my organised trip to follow any of the signposts to the ancient town.

Not that the Greek soldier Pheidippides had any such help.

But he did know the terrain when he ran the 26 miles 385 yards to Athens to report the victory of the Battle of Marathon.

It took him about three hours we are told although he may have stopped for a kebab.

Marathon city breaks are increasingly popular with social runners.

Combining their 26 miles and 385kms around the world’s great cities with a couple of days to enjoy their success.

Athens, of course, is the jewel.

Yes, we hear of the London, New York and Chicago Marathons.

But the Athens Classic Marathon https://www.athensauthenticmarathon.gr/site/index.php/en/ is closest to the original.

It will be held on November 10.

So check out direct routes with major airline carriers.

Rather than the circuitous one I took last month through Munich.

But hey, ho, it gave me a story… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/24/holidos-and-donts-my-airport-manifesto/

And Athens gave me many more… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/21/sporting-weekend-fun-olympic-games/.

A little local knowledge

And when you’re there you might think about staying at the central InterContinental Athenaeum Athens, Syngrou Avenue.

I found rates of €123.84 for a superior room for the night for early November. http://www.intercontiental.com

Now these are the websites to follow… http://www.aia.gr, http://www.athensattica.com/things-to-see/museum/acropolis-museum,

And http://www.athensattica.com/things-to-see/sightseeing/acropolis, http://www.athensattica.com/things-to-see/sightseeing/lycabettus.

For some Athens Riviera action and you will want to wine and dine after the Marathon… http://www.discovergreece.com/en/mainland/attica/athens/athens-riviera.

There’s also a bit of a Greek tale around that stay in the InterContinental which all worked out well in the end and showed me how hospitable Greek people are.

But that can wait, I’m off to train for a marathon.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

Published by funtime65

Lets dance! I’ve waltzed with Judy Murray, partied with Brian Lara, manned the barricades with Civil Rights leader Myrlie Evers and even unmasked The Donald as a mariachi fan. Join me (and my bandana) on a madcap tour of the world with the people who make it all possible, our wonderful travel providers.

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